One Tweak to Burn More Calories from Your Workout

workout finishers
Me and Big Mike (we're still friends here...more on the challenge workout we did later...)

Can you imagine losing 100+ lbs? Well, that’s what fitness pro and pal, Mike Whitfield did. And he used something he calls ‘workout finishers’ to help him achieve and maintain his weight. I’m thrilled that he was willing to share a few ‘finishers’ with us. Check it out below…

From Mike:

When I first heard about Shawna, I had the same reaction as when I was told, “Mike, I’m pregnant” from my wife.  My mouth dropped, I was speechless and I was thinking, “nu-uh”.


That’s when I was told she could knock out 20 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.  Of course, I thought to myself, “well, I can do that… over the span of a couple of hours with some caffeine and a purpose”.  But no, this was something she could do at the drop of a hat.

So, I wore a hat to the gym, dropped it and then proceeded to knock out 55 push-ups.  I felt defeated.  A mom in her 40’s could almost double the amount of pushups I could do.



Although I felt defeated, I was also inspired.  This woman is proving to thousands across the globe that you indeed can get into shape at any age.

So when she asked me to do a guest post, I was thrilled.  I can tell just by reading her blog that it has a community feel to it, and I’m happy to contribute to help her help others.  So before I continue, sit back and do a little golf clap for Shawna, because I think what she’s doing is awesome.

“So Mr. Clean, what’s this one tweak I can do to burn more calories from my workout”?  I know that’s what you’re thinking.  I will jump right into it.

You are already cranking out some awesome workouts thanks to Shawna’s programs and this blog, right?  And knowing that you are busy, I’m sure you don’t want to learn a brand new workout program, but would love to hear how you can burn more calories from your program without sacrificing a lot of time.  The answer is workout finishers.

What is a Workout Finisher?

As you probably already know, interval training is superior to steady-state cardio for fat loss.  But sometimes, even interval training can take up too much time after your workout.  Including the time to warm up and actually perform the intervals, you’re looking at 25 minutes of work.  Well, a workout finisher takes up much less time and is like intervals on caffeine.

For one thing, they don’t use any cardio machines at all.  Finishers take literally just minutes and they use multi-joint exercises with very short rest periods, allowing incomplete recovery.  This burns just as much fat if not more than interval training because they work more muscles.

For example, when you perform intervals on the bike, you are using your legs (and heart of course), but your upper body doesn’t get any of the work load.  But what if you use a workout finisher like the one below?:

The “10-4” Finisher

Do the following circuit 4 times, resting for 20 seconds between circuits.  You should perform 10 reps of each exercise for four circuits, therefore making the name of this finisher absolutely brilliant.

Prisoner Lunge Jumps (10 ea leg)

Pushups (10)

Mountain Climbers (10 ea)

DB/KB Swings (10)


The above finisher takes a little over 5 minutes, but you’re going to feel like you just worked out for hours.


Boom goes the productivity dynamite (this is one of my staple sayings – it’s trendy)


Let’s go over another one, which I’m sure Shawna will love because it involves burpees.

The tricky (and challenging) part is that the rest periods get shorter as you progress through the finisher.  It looks like this – try this at the end of your next workout:


Do the following circuit as shown:


Burpees (30 secs)

Pullups (30 secs)

Rest 30 secs

Burpees (30 secs)

Close-Grip Pushups (30 secs)

Rest 20 secs

Burpees (30 secs)

Chinups (30 secs)

Rest 10 secs

Jump Squats (30 secs)

The End.



We hit a lot of muscle at one time, with very short rest periods (20 seconds).  That means your body will have to work hard to return to a normal state.  And what does it use to return to a normal state?  Calories… burning more calories means you lose fat even faster.


Can I Use Finishers as My Main Workout?

Finishers are designed to complement your main workout.  They are like pouring awesome sauce into your tasty protein shake.  Or if you don’t like protein shakes, finishers are like splashing hot sauce on your omelet.   If you don’t eat omelets… then it’s like putting seasoning on your fish.  If you don’t like fish, … yeah, we could do this all day.


So if you’re stuck on a weight loss plateau, want to jump start your fat loss or you want to challenge yourself mentally and physically while taking your conditioning to the next level, then incorporate finishers into your program.


And definitely keep listening to Shawna.

Mike Whitfield CFNC, CTT


Me again. There you have it, a couple of great ways to do HIIT, tighten and tone so you can attack more workout challenges. Check out this link for more of Mike’s awesome-ness and HIIT on caffeine.